Father Of The Bride (1991)

FATHER OF THE BRIDE scored by remaking the 1950 classic, with smooth handling and a pleasing cast crafting the 9th most popular picture of 1991. Directed by Charles Shyer, who co-wrote the script with Nancy Meyers, with credit also given to the writers of the original, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. Steve Martin stars with Diane Keaton. The first and best of Martin’s slew of remakes, this audience-winner was followed four years later by Father Of The Bride II, a rework of the original’s sequel, Fathers Little Dividend.

When their 22-year old daughter ‘Annie’ (Kimberly Williams,19, charming debut) announces her engagement, her parents are surprised but their reactions differ. ‘Nina’ (Keaton, dazzling smile to the rescue) is overjoyed, Mom-style: Dad ‘George’ (Martin) goes through several stages of ballistic. Son-in-law-to-be ‘Bryan’ (likable George Newbern) seems as cool as Annie insists, but the planning for the wedding becomes an artery stress test, especially for harried George.

Dialogue-heavy (including Martin’s droning voiceovers) with some obvious but amusing passages of farce (and maybe a wee much heartstring-pulling); the cast makes it all enjoyable.  Especially chuckle-worthy are the scenes with wedding planner ‘Franck Eggelhoffer’, done with a riotously impenetrable accent by Martin Short. Handsome-looking production (all Nancy Meyers plotlines revolve around highly successful people in plush settings), undercoated by another sleek, unobtrusive score from Alan Silvestri.

Finessed for $20,000,000, with grosses in the US reaching $89,300,000, and $40,000,000 more earned internationally.

With Kieran Culkin, D.B. Wong, Peter Michael Goetz, Kate McGregor-Stewart, Richard Portnow. Eugene Levy has a funny cameo as a wedding singer. 105 minutes.

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